Tuesday, April 28, 2009, "Faith"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
By: Teresa Criswell

"And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you would say unto this sycamine tree, Be plucked up by the root, and be thrown into the sea; and it will obey you. "
~ Luke 17:6 ~

I was sitting at the table mesmerized as Kim spoke. The parable of the faith as a grain of mustard seed I had heard many times before, but this time it was different, when I heard about the sycamine tree this passage became SO real.

You may be saying, "Ok, so it's a tree Teresa, what is the big deal?" O but no, it's not just any tree, it happens to be one that Jesus pointed out as an example in his parable. We know that Jesus did nothing by accident nor was the example he used just a 'fluke'.

As Kim taught the bible study she taught us that the sycamine tree (This tree is named the sycamine in the King James Version Bible, the other versions will call it a 'Mulberry Tree') can grow up to 30 feet. This robust tree grows best in dry weather conditions as its roots are deep in the ground. Because it can grow in dry weather conditions it was the preferred wood for making coffins and caskets. The tree bears fruit that is very bitter; so bitter that it is unbearable to eat. And guess what it is pollinated by? Wasps. Another interesting fact is when a sycamine tree is planted near cement, the roots will destroy the cement; this is how powerful it is.

This truly represents how unforgiveness, bitterness and grudges can grow in an environment where it doesn't need maintenance of any sort. It takes deep root in our hearts. There is power to unforgiveness, bitterness and grudges; however there is even more power in faith. How much faith would it take to destroy the sycamine tree? The size of a mustard seed. Where do we place that faith? In God.

As Kim taught I was overwhelmed of the similarities. When my heart is like the fertile soil, being maintained daily, moment by moment, not just once a week, once a month or once a year, but moment by moment the things planted so beautifully in my heart are evident. However, if I don't maintain the ground or soil of my heart, those things that need no maintenance or care take over almost immediately and then suddenly if I'm not careful I will see no evidence of beauty or LIFE that once my heart had revealed.

Have faith in God through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit the size of the mustard seed and you can watch the sycamine tree be uprooted as you speak to it and watch it be cast out as the 'soil' of the heart receives the Seed of the Word of God.

Now I see a little more clearly the example in Mark 11:25, after Jesus taught about having faith in God and speaking to those 'things' or 'mountains' in our life, he emphatically stated, "but when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too."

I don't need or want to have a sycamine tree growing in my heart. However, I do need and want the Seed which is the Word of God to take root in my heart and pray that my heart is like the fertile soil as Jesus mentioned in Matthew 13.

When we pray, let's forgive those even when the world may say we have a right to stay in unforgiveness. It is our privledge and a command by Him to forgive as He forgave us all our sins.
I must have an inkling of why He commands it of us, so that we can be healthy in our bodies, mind and spirit.

I don't want to be a 'preferred' source for someone's coffin, but the 'preferred' source of someone's celebration of Life through Jesus Christ.


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